Introduction Tried and tested best practice will make the best of whatever economic and political situation a business finds itself in, whether it’s the continued uncertainty around Britain’s future in the EU, the overheating and protectionist tendency of the US market, or the continuing rise of China and India.
When businesses wanted to buy software pre-internet, they would physically buy a CD-ROM, install it on everyone’s computer and pay a licensing fee. Like so many sectors, the rise of the web turned things on its head. Software as a Service (SaaS) is a way of delivering software online, paying a monthly subscription without installation costs. Since the rise of Salesforce in the late 90s, the SaaS market has exploded. Lower costs, greater access to cloud storage and increased speed have moved the market away from an enterprise-only concern to a space open to businesses of all sizes.
For as long as there have been markets, there has been a thing called “market research.” The Phoenicians - a civilisation in the Middle East, established four and a half thousand years ago - studied consumer demand for their exports, and became the trading powerhouse of the classical world. Marco Polo’s diaries talk about the trade studies he conducted for Kublai Khan. Despite this long history of success, a lot of businesses still don’t fully understand the markets they operate within, or the people they’re trying to reach. That’s why we’re going to walk you through what market research is, what good it does for a business, when’s the right time to do it, and how to do it well.
When you’re a multinational corporation, the marketing world is your oyster. Want to generate brand awareness? Invest in a few peak time TV ads on ITV for £30k a pop. Or take out a colour double-page spread in The Times for £42,000. If you’re thinking bigger, why not shell out $5.25 million on a 30-second Superbowl advert? How about all of the above? However, very few of these “big business” marketing tactics work for smaller companies with tighter budgets. Account-based marketing (ABM) is different. The approach of aligning sales and marketing to focus energies on a few accounts rather than a broad segment is one that medium-sized businesses can easily adopt. And according to specialist services marketing association ITSMA, 85% of marketers have found that account-based marketing delivers higher ROI than any other marketing approach. It’s probably why you’ve heard more and more of your peers talking about it of late.
It may be prime suspect in the gruesome murder of the radio star (according to The Buggles at least), but for medium-sized businesses, video is nothing but good news. According to original research by Southport-based video marketers Wyzowl, 96% of people say they’ve watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service, 79% of people say a brand’s video has convinced them to buy a piece of software or app, and 68% of people say they’d most prefer to learn about a new product or service by watching a short video.